Entertainment » Movies

Deadpool 2

by Robert Nesti
EDGE National Arts & Entertainment Editor
Tuesday May 15, 2018
'Deadpool 2'
'Deadpool 2'  

The whirling, noisy joke machine that is "Deadpool 2" will no doubt please the fans of this Marvel superhero, mostly because its meta-humor hits them in their sweet spot (whatever that is).

At the screening I attended they hooted and howled at every pop culture reference in this crude hodgepodge of a sequel as if getting the jokes is some kind of validation for it being made in the first place. Do endless comments on "Terminator," "X-Men," and "Wolverine" make for a good movie? Not so much.

What made the first film, which seemingly came out of nowhere to gross nearly $800 million dollars worldwide, is that it felt like an antidote to the more earnest films in the Marvel and its cousin D.C. Comics' universes. The victimized Deadpool, tricked and left disfigured, was an underdog fighting to be taken seriously, and he became an unlikely (and funny) hero. In this film, he's as snarky as ever, but never really connects emotionally as he did the first time around. This time he's just a bro with a death wish.

That death wish comes because of an event that happens early in this film that only shows how bad luck still haunts Deadpool, a.k.a. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds, pulling out all the stops), the ex-Special Forces operative whose disfigurement in the first film led to him getting superhero powers. Now he wants to die, but can't, even as he attempts to by blowing himself to smithereens.

He finds distraction in helping a boy - a mutant with an itchy, flame-throwing superpower that he has difficulty controlling. The boy, Russell Collins (Julian Dennison), is being pursued by Cable, (a wasted Josh Brolin), a bounty hunter from the future who has traveled back to snuff the boy because he is somehow responsible for the death of his family in the future.

Deadpool and the motley crew of mutants he assembles (called the X-Force) set out to protect the boy with varying degrees of success. One of the film's few sequences that works occurs when the X-Forces fall from the sky in parachutes and are pretty much like sitting ducks in target practice. And the film's funniest joke is saved for the final credit sequence and it is so unexpected that it is almost worth sitting through what comes before it. Almost.

What proves most irksome about "Deadpool 2," directed with blunt efficiency by David Leitch ("Atomic Blonde") from a script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Reynolds, is its smugness and sense of superiority. It is a bit like spending two hours with someone that constantly makes pop culture references that you wish would shut up. To be expected, given its R-rating, there is plenty of violence played for laughs, and some sly transgressions, such as Reynolds smoking a cigarette in a film world where smoking is pretty much verboten.

But the crucial elements the film needs to work - suspense and empathy for its characters - are missing. Without them, this sequel is just a flat extension to its predecessor without the novelty that made it fresh. It may be more fun to go and watch the fanboys yuck it up than the watching the movie itself. For me, "Deadpool 2" is dead on arrival.

Deadpool 2

Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of Cable -- a genetically enhanced soldier from the future -- Deadpool realizes that he'll need some help saving the boy from such a superior enemy. He soon joins forces with Bedlam, Shatterstar, Domino and other powerful mutants to protect young Russell from Cable and his advanced weaponry.


Runtime :: 120 mins
Release Date :: May 18, 2018
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States

Robert Nesti can be reached at rnesti@edgemedianetwork.com.


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